Prior Lake, Minnesota
Paula Moltzan is a professional alpine ski racer competing on the World Cup circuit. At the 2022 Winter Olympics, Moltzan placed 8th in the slalom, 12th in the giant slalom, and 4th in the team event.
She specializes in the technical ski events including: slalom, giant slalom and parallel. Although most of her time on skis is spent charging through gates and racing, Paula also loves getting out on a ski tour in the mountains or barreling through deep powder. In the off season, as snow melts into the rivers, Paula works as a whitewater rafting guide and enjoys every minute she can spend on the water.
What inspires you to pursue the mountain life you live?
My dream to become a professional skier started at a very young age when my parents would shuttle myself and my siblings to the local ski hill and let us wander our way down the few runs while they taught lessons. Those moments on the mountain were the best and from that point forward, my mind was set on becoming a World Cup skier. Today, I am inspired by other female athletes who are raising the bar of competition in their respective sports. Watching Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin break multiple records and push the limits in alpine skiing motivates me to give my all and push my hardest on the hill and in the gym.
How long have you been competing on the World Cup?
This season will be my 5th season competing on the World Cup circuit! My first World Cup event was in Aspen in 2012 when I was 18.
What is the most exciting aspect about competing on the World Cup?
The best parts about the World Cup are the places it takes you and the friends you make. I love when we get a couple days off in the season and we are able to experience the sights and cultures of the amazing places we stay in. Also, through the years I have made some incredible friends from different countries and I really value and appreciate those relationships.
Do you have any goals or aspirations for the coming season?
I have never been a "numbers" goal setter, but a long-time goal of mine has been to get named to the Olympic team. There are a lot of competitions before that, so I am hoping to build off of last season's success and make lots of memories with my team! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Tell us a little bit about the woodshed you train in and why you like using that.
The woodshed came about when covid sprung upon all of us in early 2020. I was stuck at home with my fiance Ryan and his family in western Massachusetts and couldn’t go to a gym to workout. With nothing to do during covid lockdowns I wanted to take advantage of the downtime and train my body into better shape than ever before. So we took matters into our own hands and converted his family's woodshed (where they normally store the firewood they cut for the upcoming winter) into a gym. Piece by piece we added equipment and removed cords of firewood to make more gym space. In 2021 it got a new watertight roof and electricity!
I like working out there because it is close to home and it allows me to feel connected to nature at the same time. Most large gyms don’t give you a real outdoor feel with fresh air like mine! It has all of the weights I need and allows me to train my way all the time without any distractions.
What are a few of your favorite activities to do when you're not on snow?
In the summer I love to spend time mountain biking, white water rafting, and occasionally fly fishing with my fiance.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming ski racers or athletes in general?
Stay active and play all the sports you can! Don’t specialize in anything too early. You can learn a lot about yourself in individual and team sports.
What does Let The Outside In mean to you?
To me, Let The Outside In means enjoy life with everyone and everything around you. Embrace every situation, let new people into your life, take on new and possibly uncomfortable situations such as a technical ski line or a class V rapid on the river. Most importantly--love the beauty of the world we live in and take care of it! Bring nature into your life every day.